Great volunteer role at the Castle
Where: Nottingham Castle, Project Lab – Over Land and Out to Sea.
When: Saturdays, Sundays and School Holidays, 10.30 – 4.30pm
From: 28 May to 17 July 2016.
Plus a training session 2-4 Thursday 26 May (negotiable)
Commitment: We are flexible about how much time you give us, but ideally you will be able to offer at least 4 full days over the 8 weeks.
We need enthusiastic friendly faces to welcome visitors to Project lab and encourage them to get involved. The project lab is a space to trial and develop new ideas for interactive visitor resources to inform the castle development plan. The first of 4 themes this Project lab gallery will be based on a ‘views and vistas’ theme called ‘Over land and out to sea’.
Containing some works from NCMG fine art collections, the project lab aims to encourage visitors to interact in the space; draw on the chalkboard painted walls which have horizon line but otherwise offer a blank sheet; draw landscapes in gold frames on wallpaper; try out floor-based children’s activity and reading area (landscape-themed).
This is an excellent opportunity for those looking to gain experience of working with visitors. Over the period of 12 months, the project lab themes will change, so there is the opportunity to continue to volunteer and to play a part in the ideas development of activities for the new themes.
Find out more at the Nottingham City Museums and Galleries volunteering website
Bookstart – Under the sea fun at Nottingham Castle
National Bookstart Week (6 – 12 June) is fast approaching.
Join the big celebration family fun day at Nottingham Castle on 9 June 10:30am-2:30pm
How to get your entry voucher – In order to get into the castle for free, families need to visit either a city library or the Tourist Information Centre wiith a valid Citycard and get a voucher. If they don’t have a Citycard, families can go to the library and sign up for one and get their voucher at the same time.
Activities on offer include:
Every child gets a free copy of ‘Hole at the Bottom of the Sea’ and accompanying rhyme sheet
Under the sea crafts and activities including making a shark mask, sea creatures and buckets, spades etc. in the sand pit
Reading area with under the sea themed books
Trail of Bookstart bear’s paw prints running from the Castle down to Central library. If you follow the trail all the way you will get a free Bookstart Bear teddy from the library
Quite remarkable productions – you might need an umbrella!. Join Geoffrey Jumper and Mandy in their show – children can make their own shadow puppet afterwards.
Scott’s facts and findings
Welcome to Scott’s fifth column.
Following the Royal Geographical Society’s recent recognition of Nottingham Castle’s caves as part of one of the best tourist trails in the country, he explores why this should come as no surprise to anyone who has visited these unique and special caves.
“The caves at Nottingham Castle attract approximately 25,000 visitors each year. The chambers and passages, some of which may date to the 12th century, are unique and allow visitors to walk through the history. Expertly carved into the sandstone these caves have served many purposes over the centuries including communication passages, dungeons, storage chambers and air raid shelters.
They were used in times of peace to transport men and goods from the base of the castle rock to the castle itself. They have been the settings of sieges, and, according to legend, the capture of Roger Mortimer by Edward III and the dungeon where King David of Scotland was held prisoner. In short they are an important part of the nation’s history.
Mortimer’s Hole with inlaid site cave map
The Royal Geographical Society considers Nottingham Castle’s caves, along with six other cave systems in the city, to form one of the top trails in the country, enabling people to learn more about the city’s heritage. The trail can be found on the Society’s new website www.discoveringbritain.org
The trail is the latest to be created for the city’s caves but a smartphone app (Nottingham Cave Trail) provides a trail of ten of the caves and allows users to view laser scanned flythroughs of caves which allows users to go on virtual tours of parts of the caves at the castle as well as some other caves in the city, on their mobile device.
Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, along with partner organisations, helped develop the app, which is free to download. There are plans to increase the number of caves on the app later this year but already it is proving to be a very popular way to explore these ancient features with modern technology.
There is, however, no substitute to experiencing the atmosphere of the caves in person, by delving deep inside the castle rock on one of the many tours, some of which are even led by Robin Hood or Friar Tuck.
Looking towards 2020…there are exciting plans, as part of the Nottingham Castle Transformation Project, to hold tours of caves which have never been open to the public as well as reopening caves which have not seen public tours in decades.
We are also learning a great deal about the caves, as part of research programmes which will feature in a future column, and recent investigation of underground tunnels dug in the 1950s by amateur archaeologists have suggested there may be even more caves at the castle yet to be discovered.”